Human Resources


The following guidance is subject to change as new information is received. It is recommended that these answers are viewed online to ensure availability of the most current information.


  • How will UNM decide when to shut down operations and send employees home?

(Last Updated 08/23/09)

University Business Policies and Procedures Manual #3435 Inclement Weather, Section 1 states:  “The President will determine if the Albuquerque campus will close. The directors of each branch campus will determine if their respective campus will close.” (http://www.unm.edu/~ubppm/ubppmanual/3435.htm)

These same protocols will be used for any decisions for closure related to H1N1 or other emergency situation.

  • Have thresholds been established to shut down operations and send employees home?

(Last Updated 08/28/09)

The President has requested that the Emergency Operations Center establish procedures to identify qualitative and quantitative factors to assist in this decision making process.   The group expects to have a formal plan in place no later than September 4, 2009.   The focus is utilizing the existing reporting structure at the University to inform and escalate, if necessary, when absenteeism or the ability to maintain the integrity of operations is in jeopardy.  More details will be posted when final procedures are put into place.

  • If UNM closes, how will students, faculty, and employees be notified?

(Last Updated 08/28/09)

University Business Policies and Procedures Manual #3435 Inclement Weather, Section 1 states: “Employees will be advised of early release, late report, or no report conditions through TV and radio announcements, with specific information about the Albuquerque campus given over UNM's "Snow Hotline," 277-SNOW. The announcements will specify if the University is open, delayed, or closed.”
These same protocols will be used for any decisions for closure related to H1N1 or other emergency situation.

In addition, the Division of Human Resources has established operating protocols that every phone voice mail greeting within Human Resources will reference a central line within the Division.  These central lines will be updated with important information for managers and/or employees in the event of a closing due to H1N1 or other emergency situation.

It will be the employee’s responsibility to monitor closings through these resources and return promptly to work when the closing is no longer in effect. 

  • If UNM does shut down, how will employees be paid?  

(Last Updated 08/23/09)

University Business Policies and Procedures Manual #3435 Inclement Weather, Section 4.1 states: “Time off due to announced closure will be reported as paid administrative leave and shall not be considered as time worked for overtime compensation purposed.  Employees on previously approved sick or annual leave are not eligible for the paid administrative leave.”

These same protocols will be used for any decisions for closure related to H1N1 or other emergency situation.

  • If the public schools and/or daycares are shut down will employees be allowed to bring their children to work?

(Last Updated 08/23/09)

The University does not have a policy to allow for children to be brought to the workplace.  Where possible, employees should make efforts to find suitable alternate child care options for their children.  If an employee is unable to make such arrangements, they should consult with their supervisor to determine if flexible scheduling and/or working from home might be an option.  In the absence of a suitable alternate arrangement, an employee will be required to take annual and/or sick leave to stay home with a child whose school or daycare is shut down due to H1N1 or other emergency.  Supervisors are encouraged to be flexible with employees who have children in these situations.

  • Under this situation could employees work from home?

(Last Updated 08/23/09)

Managers may allow an employee to perform limited work from home if the nature of the employee’s work is conducive to this arrangement.  This should be handled on a case-by-case basis as individual situations are unique.  If a manager chooses to allow an employee to work from home, the following should be considered:

  • Ability to directly supervise work performed
  • Security of data/information stored at “home office”
  • Costs associated with establishing appropriate work environment (for example: telephone, cellular phone, computer, printer, paper, office supplies, etc.)
  • Liability and implementation issues (for example: Fair Labor Standards Act, Worker’s Compensation, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, etc.)

 

  • Could employees work flexible hours outside of normal operating hours?

(Last Updated 08/23/09)

University Business Policies and Procedures Manual #3300 Paid Time, Section 3 states:  “Work schedules need to be responsive to the mission of the department and its ability to serve the needs of the public. However, exempt and nonexempt employees may be permitted to work flexible schedules if the schedules are approved in advance by management, on an individual basis, with approval of the cognizant dean, director, or department head.” 

Supervisors are encouraged to consider flexible work schedules, where possible, to accommodate school closures and/or daycare closures due to H1N1 or other emergency situation.

  • What if an employee misses work due to being ill with H1N1 influenza or taking care of dependents that have H1N1 influenza, or due to public schools or childcare being closed, and has no remaining annual or sick leave to cover their absence?

(Last Updated 08/23/09)

If an employee is unable to work due to their own H1N1 symptoms or because they must take care of their dependents exhibiting these symptoms, they are required to use sick or annual leave.  If an employee does not have sick or annual leave, they may request Leave Without Pay.  Supervisors are encouraged to be flexible with requests for Leave Without Pay due to H1N1.

Managers should check with their Human Resources Consultant if assistance is required.

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  • Will UNM mandate that employees stay home if they, or members of their family, are known or suspected to have the pandemic flu?

(Last Updated 08/23/09)

Employees who appear to have the flu or flu like symptoms should stay home and follow the CDC guidelines for return to work.  Currently, these guidelines state that an individual should not return to work until they have been fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication.

UNM will not require that employees stay home if members of the employee’s family are known or suspected to have H1N1.  However, these employees should monitor their health every day, and notify their supervisor and stay home if they become ill.
Managers should check with their Human Resources Consultant if assistance is required.

  • Do we have alternative plans to maintain adequate staffing in the event of a pandemic?

(Last Updated 08/23/09)

UNMTemps continuously recruits pools of temporary candidates to fill the emergent staffing needs of the University. We maintain pools of candidates in the following categories:

Administrative/Professional- approximately 100 candidates available in the pools
Clerical- approximately 100 candidates available in the pools
Labor- approximately 20 candidates available in the pools
Custodial/Maintenance- approximately 80 candidates in the pools
Technical- approximately 20 candidates available in the pools

(Note:  The number of available temporary candidates in each pool fluctuates)

Departments can request a temporary employee by filling out a UNMTemps Request Form in UNMJobs. In case of an emergency, the Vice President of Human Resources may authorize the accommodation of requests by phone or e-mail. 

The turnaround time for placing a temporary employee depends on the criteria of the request and the department’s preference for screening. We have the ability to send a temporary employee to cover basic functions in a 24-48 hour time frame. Those requests that are more specific or require higher level skills may take longer dependent on if the department’s preference to view a pool of candidates and interview.

  • Is H1N1 considered a serious medical condition and thus covered by FMLA?

(Last Updated 08/23/09)

The current guidelines for FMLA specifically exclude the flu unless complications arise. It would necessitate in-patient care or continuing treatment as defined by FMLA.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) makes it unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided by this law. Therefore, employers cannot discourage a covered and eligible employee from taking FMLA leave if the employee is needed to care for a qualifying family member (a spouse, son, daughter, or parent) with a serious health condition or when the employee is unable to work because of the employee’s own serious health condition.
The FMLA protections would not apply to leave needed, for example, for an employee to attend to his healthy children whose day care provider was temporarily closed.

 

  • Will employees be encouraged to get a flu shot?

(Last Updated 08/23/09)

The University will launch an information campaign to share with employees information about access to flu shots, including benefits and risks.  In general, it will be up to the individual employee, in consultation with their health care provider, when appropriate, to determine if a flu shot is right for them.

  • Will UNM require certain populations to be vaccinated?

(Last Updated 08/23/09)

CDC and ACIP (The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which provides advice and guidance on the control of vaccine-preventable diseases) will make recommendations for who should receive H1N1 vaccine, and state and local health departments and institutions will determine how to implement these recommendations. If the vaccine is recommended for use, those who choose vaccination for themselves or their children will be screened for contraindications to vaccination (such as an allergy to eggs ) and will receive information sheets describing the vaccine’s risks and benefits, possible adverse events associated with vaccination, and how to report these events.

  • What essential functions and individuals would be needed to maintain business operations during a pandemic?

(Last Updated 08/23/09)

University Business Policies and Procedures Manual #3435 Inclement Weather , Section 2 Critical Areas states:

 “In the event the University is delayed or closed, certain critical areas, due to the nature of the activities, will need to remain open. Critical activities will be determined by the cognizant vice president. Directors of critical activities will clearly communicate to their employees what their work attendance requirements are during severe weather, regardless of what media messages are being conveyed to the larger University population. For example, patient care and other critical activities such as Physical Plant, Police, and Housing will remain open when the University is declared closed due to inclement weather or will open at the normal time when there is a delay announced.

Directors of critical activities will prepare contingency plans, keep plans updated, and communicate such plans to employees. An employee should direct any questions about job expectations during a delay or closure to his or her supervisor. The administrator of the unit will initiate necessary actions to provide emergency meals and sleeping arrangements, should conditions require. All employees required by their supervisors to work during a delay or closure will be paid for hours worked and shall be granted additional compensatory time off, at the straight time rate, for actual hours worked during the delay or closure. Only employees required to work by their supervisors will receive compensatory time. Compensatory time taken in such cases shall not be considered as time worked for overtime compensation purposes.”

These same protocols will be used for any decisions for closure related to H1N1 or other emergency situation.

  • Should I request that an employee who is out sick bring in a doctor’s note upon return?

(Last Updated 08/23/09)
University Business Policies and Procedures Manual #3410 Sick Leave, Section 7 states,
 “The University reserves the right to require a physician's statement at any time regarding an employee's illness or injury.  Supervisors may also request physician's statements for sick leave used for pre-scheduled doctor's appointments or to care for an ill or injured family member.  If the request for sick leave is due to an employee's own illness, the supervisor may request documentation certifying whether or not the employee is physically able to return to work, the date the condition commenced, and the expected duration of the condition.  If the request for sick leave is to care for an immediate family member, the supervisor may request documentation signifying the employee must be off to care for that family member and the expected duration.  The employee will be required to provide a physician's statement for all absences longer than ten (10) working days.    The University may also request a second medical opinion at the University's expense.”
Most individuals will not need to seek medical attention for the flu.  If you experience flu symptoms and have an underlying, chronic medical condition, you should consult with your physician.  If you have difficulty keeping fluids down for 24 hours, or if you have a fever of 100° Fahrenheit or 37.8° Celsius or higher which cannot be reduced with medication, then you should consult with your physician.

While Supervisors may request a physician’s statement, this practice is discouraged for potential H1N1 cases due to the potential overload this could create in our medical facilities.  Requesting a Physician’s statement may be used in cases where:

  • The employee has a documented history of sick or annual leave abuse.
  • There is reason to believe that the employee is not ill.
  • The employee has been out for longer than 10 working days.

Managers should check with their Human Resources Consultant if assistance is required.

  • Should my office be sanitized?

(Last Updated 08/23/09)

According to CDC workplace guidance, the influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person for up to 2-8 hours after being deposited on the surface. To reduce the chance of spread of the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus, disinfect commonly-touched hard surfaces in the workplace, such as work stations, counter tops, door knobs, and bathroom surfaces by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.

  • Is UNM offering additional guidance for employees who are or may be pregnant?

(Last Updated 08/28/09)
The CDC has identified certain people as being higher risk for flu complications from H1N1, including pregnant women.  Employees who believe they may fall into these high risk categories should consult with their medical provider for specific guidance on ways to minimize risk from H1N1. If a supervisor is made aware of an employee requiring special accommodation, the supervisor should make all reasonable efforts to accommodate the employee’s needs.  Managers and employees may refer to University Business Policies and Procedures Manual #3110, Reasonable Accommodation for Employees with Disabilities, for guidance on accommodations specific to H1N1.
Managers should check with their Human Resources Consultant if assistance is required.

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